Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 3 December 2020

Coronavirus: weddings called off as UAE couples count cost of Covid-19 outbreak

Travel restrictions and concerns over the spread of infection at large gatherings have placed a strain on the wedding industry

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The global coronavirus outbreak is wreaking havoc with marriage plans in the UAE.

Wedding season is traditionally at its peak from October to April to take advantage of the cooler weather during those months.

But travel restrictions and concerns that Covid-19 could spread easier among large gatherings of people have led to couples making the difficult decision to postpone, and in some cases cancel, their big day.

The UAE announced 14 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, taking the total to 59.

As of Tuesday, there had been more than 114,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, causing more than 4,000 deaths.

“We were supposed to get married on April 3 and had to make a really tough decision to postpone it last week,” said Dubai-based lawyer Marine Aoudi, 37, who had booked a reception for 200 people to celebrate her marriage to fiancé Mazen Darwiche.

“We put the final decision off for as long as possible but all of my family live abroad so we couldn’t be sure what travel restrictions would be in place by then.

“We were worried if we invested any more money we would just end up losing it.”

Ms Aoudi, who hails from Canada, said she was not sure when the wedding would finally go ahead due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding international travel.

“We were thinking about rescheduling until November but we didn’t know for sure if the situation would be better by then,” she said.

“We are thinking of getting married here, just the two of us, and getting on with our lives,” she said.

“Maybe we could have a party later on to celebrate with friends and family.”

Ms Aoudi said she ran the risk of losing deposits if she left it any later to make a decision about her wedding.

“I had to cancel my wedding dress but I got a refund from the dressmaker because they hadn’t started to make it yet,” she said.

“We’re talking to the venue as well about a refund, they’ve already said they are happy to reschedule it.”

Updated: October 4, 2020 03:17 PM

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